Knowledge and Communication in Democratic Politics: Markets, Forums and Systems

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Epistemic questions have become an important area of debate within democratic theory. Epistemic democrats have revived epistemic justification of democracy, while social scientific research has speared a significant debate on voter knowledge. An area which has received less attention, however, is the epistemic case for markets. Market advocates have developed a number of epistemic critiques of democracy which suggest that most goods are better provided by markets than democratic institutions. Despite representing important challenges to democracy, these critiques have gone without reply as democratic theorists have tended to exclude markets from consideration. This article responds to these critiques and argues that there are good epistemic grounds for granting a much greater role to democracy than its market critics have claimed. It argues that there is a broad range of goods, including important ethical goods, which are better provided by democracy than markets due to the particular epistemic burdens they create.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-439
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Early online date11 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Epistemic Democracy
  • Deliberative Democracy
  • Deliberative Systems
  • Markets
  • Hayek
  • markets
  • epistemic democracy
  • deliberative democracy
  • deliberative systems


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